How to Pray When You Can’t Find the Words

by General Caregiving, Pray, Wisdom, Wisdom Podcasts0 comments

How can you pray when you can’t find the words? Sometimes the news is so awful, that words escape us. Or the situation is so shocking that we are momentarily stunned into silence. But we want to help our suffering loved one or friend.

Prayer connects us with God and empowers us to help others. So when we can’t quite find the right words, here are two ways you can pray, using your imagination. These ideas come from my daughter-in-law Kim Mulder, who is a Certified Spiritual Director.

Kim says:

Many times I do not know how to pray for someone. I do not know what they really need. I do not know what God is bringing to fruition in their life. Yet, I want to offer them the love and compassion of prayer. I want to connect with God in my concern for them. So sometimes I bring an image of the person to mind and then nestle that image in my heart with my imagination. I hold the image (person) in my heart. In the stillness and in this vast space of love, God, my loved one and I hold one another.

Another way I hold someone in prayer is to imagine a bowl. I call it my prayer bowl. I imagine the person (or their name) that I am praying for is in my prayer bowl. I gaze with love upon that person. I rest in the knowledge that the prayer bowl, my loved one and I are all held in love by God who knows what we need. (One could put the name or picture of person in an actual bowl as a visual reminder.)

Perhaps Kim’s suggestions of prayer are new to you. I appreciate the imaginative new way that she connects to God to help a friend who is going through a difficult time.

For other ideas on how to pray, see the post 3 Powerful Prayers, which offers a few easy-to-remember words that are appropriate for many of life’s situations.

God Bless.

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder

Karen Mulder is the founder of the Wisdom of the Wounded ministry. She lives in Holland, Michigan with her husband Larry.


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